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Which journal ranking list? A case study in business and economics

Rayana Jaafar (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)
Vijay Pereira (Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi, UAE)
Samer S. Saab (Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon)
Abdul-Nasser El-Kassar (Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon)

EuroMed Journal of Business

ISSN: 1450-2194

Article publication date: 10 August 2020

Issue publication date: 13 October 2021




With over 3,000 academic journals in the fields of Business and Economics, most academics face a hard time selecting an adequate journal to submit their work to. In today's demanding academic environment and with the presence of different journal ranking lists (JRLs), the selection becomes more difficult when considering employment, promotion and funding. The purpose of this paper is to explore key differences among multiple JRLs pertinent to the latter common objectives. An extensive analysis is conducted to compare the content of journals in the Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC) Journal Quality list, Scopus and Web of Science (WoS) in the fields of Business and Economics. Then, a case of a university with medium research output is considered where scholarly performance evaluation is based on the ABDC Journal Quality List.


After ranking journals in the fields of Business and Economics based on SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) indicator, JCR's Journal Impact Factor (JIF) and JCR's Eigenfactor (EF), a methodology is proposed to categorize journals in the three JRLs into the same categorization adopted by ABDC. The latter establishes a way to compare the four JRLs under consideration and serves as a basis to compare and analyze the content of journals in the ABDC Journal Quality list, Scopus and WoS. As a proxy impact metric, a normalized citation count is associated with each article based on Google Scholar. The publications of the considered university are then evaluated from the perspective of the four JRLs in terms of citation-based impact and quality while considering the exposure to popular world university ranking tables.


For journals classified under fourth tier by ABDC, over 53 and 59% are not indexed by Scopus and WoS, respectively. In this case study, over 42% of the publications appear in journals that are not listed in JCR despite the fact that over 94% of them are listed by the SJR list. Generally, publications that appear in journals listed by JCR achieve, on a yearly average, significantly higher citation rates when compared to those that appear in journals listed in ABDC and SJR Lists.


A four-tier mapping is proposed for consistent comparison among JRLs. Normalized citation count associated with each article based on Google Scholar is employed for evaluation. The findings provide recommendations for scholars, administrators and global universities, including Euro-Med Universities, on which JRL can be more influential for both faculty development and positioning of the university.



Jaafar, R., Pereira, V., Saab, S.S. and El-Kassar, A.-N. (2021), "Which journal ranking list? A case study in business and economics", EuroMed Journal of Business, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 361-380.



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